Welcome to this week’s Geek of the Week, where we highlight the fun and creative people of our city. This week we share a few words with Jenn Hall, local artist. By day, she’s a pastry artist at Geekadelphia favorite, Whipped Bakeshop. Though, her work spans multiple mediums.
So, Jenn, we happened upon you on account of your awesome R2D2 helmet (which we’ll touch upon later) but what can you tell me about yourself in general?
I think I’m really just like any other nerd out there; holed up at home waiting patiently for the zombie apocalypse, day dreaming about how bad ass it’s going to look when I kill like 27 zombies in less than a minute. You know, pretty typical stuff.
Presently, I’m a 25 year-old artist who calls Philadelphia home. I majored in printmaking at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and then went on to study art and geology at the University of Pennsylvania. If there’s an educational path that primes one better for a nerd-tacular artistic career, I don’t know of it.
I work at Whipped as a pastry artist, which has been a great avenue for all my creative energy. I love coming to work and being pleasantly surprised with a chance to make such things as a Buzz Lightyear fondant cake topper, for example.
Tell me a little bit more about that sweet R2D2 helmet you’ve got. How did you make it? Did you start off with some sort of simple one and paint it?
Initially, it was the ugly duckling of helmets. It looked pretty jacked up before I did my fairy godmother thing to it. It was an odd, dark maroon color and it had been used as a rental helmet, so it had sustained damage over time. Long story short, I did a lot of spray painting and clear coating.
Did those mad pastry-decorating skills assist you in creating this awesomeness?
While I owe a lot of my pastry decorating skillz to stuff I’ve learned at Whipped Bakeshop, I think for this project I used my own mad artist skillz, which is really the force that binds everything I do. That said, it actually is comparable in size to a lot of the cakes I work on at the bakery. While I was measuring the different components, I thought to myself, “I feel like I’m measuring pieces of fondant for a cake right now.” I guess if I ever make an R2D2 cake (Would someone please please please order an R2D2 cake, PLEASE?!) I might think to myself, “I feel like I’m making a helmet right now.”
Seems like you’ve got some pretty awesome creative talent across the board, what else do you do?
While not at the bakery, I’m extremely devoted to my own amorphous art career. I definitely have artistic ADD, some days I’ll be drawing/illustrating, some other days spray painting an R2D2 helmet or custom shoes and others I may be working on a sewing project.
Thanks for taking some time out to talk to us, Jenn. I do believe this was in fact the droid we were looking for. Interested in seeing her step-by-step helmet “making of?” Please navigate yourself to this entry, on her blog: www.phillyrawrblog.blogspot.com. Examples of her awesome fine art can be found on: phillyartgirl.com
Swoon away, nerd guys (and gals).